Updated at 10:08 p.m.
SANTA CLARA — Moments after the San Francisco 49ers lost three players to injury in the first quarter of the first preseason game against Dallas, general manager John Lynch confirmed on the telecast that they’d lost another the day before: Wide receiver Trent Taylor.
After struggling all last season with a back injury, Taylor looked rejuvenated during training camp, and looked to be a major part of the offense in 2019, especially with a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo. Instead, he underwent surgery to repair a Jones fracture on Friday, having one pin inserted, and was among the nearly 30 49ers not dressed.
Taylor was initially going to sit out the game anyway, along with 27 other 49ers veterans, but on Thursday, he complained of pain in the outside of his foot/pinkie toe following practice.
Team doctors examined his foot, and found a small fracture on his fifth metatarsal. They determined that his prognosis would be better if the fracture were addressed immediately, meaning a 4-6 week recovery time, rather than risk letting it grow into a break, which require an 8-10 week recovery. The injury was a surprise to both Shanahan and Taylor.
“He was having a hell of a camp, and it was disappointing to hear, but fortunately, it won’t be the year,” Shanahan said.
Last season, following back surgery, Taylor caught 26 balls for 215 yards and one touchdown. In 2017, he caught 43 balls for 430 yards and two scores.
The 49ers hope Taylor can be back by the regular-season opener against the Buccaneers on Sept. 8, but head coach Kyle Shanahan said he’s not counting on it.
Taylor’s absence — for now — gives a bit of relief to a crowded wide receiver room. Beyond the returning Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin, Richie James and Kendrick Bourne, the 49ers have rookies Jalen Hurd and Deebo Samuel, along with free agent signee Jordan Matthews.
San Francisco had an NFL-leading $40.4 million on the injured reserve last season, including Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon. McKinnon may well start the 2019 season on the injured reserve, and swing tackle Shon Coleman may be joining him after going down with a right ankle injury four snaps into the preseason opener. Running back Raheem Mostert (head) and defensive lineman D.J. Jones (knee) also went down.